Kindness at work

by Elise Stevens | Futureproof Your Career Podcast

Around the world, millions of people are leaving their jobs – voluntarily!

The COVID-19 pandemic gave people the time and space to hit pause on their careers and think about the work they truly want to do and the working conditions they are prepared to accept.

In this podcast, Elise Stevens speaks to Janine Hamner Holman about why organisations must look at their workplace culture if they want to retain great people.

As Janine explains, younger generations of workers are simply not going to tolerate toxic behaviour, which means organisations will be forced to create kinder workplaces for us all.

Points raised in this podcast:

  • No matter the size of the company or its revenue, the same interpersonal issues crop up across all teams.
  • Most managers do not receive people management training and are instead promoted for being good at their job.
  • Millennials are less likely than generations before them to accept toxic behaviour at work. They increasingly expect a job that is meaningful and a boss who is a coach or mentor rather than a drill sergeant.
  • The relaxed nature with which people now engage with each other online has eroded some of the decency we once expected from each other at work.
  • Organisations must set new rules of engagement around work-from-home arrangements and enforce minimum standards of personal conduct.
  • In the post-COVID era of videoconferencing, it is important to ensure everyone has their cameras on and can see each other to allow the best and clearest communication.
  • Being kind in your interactions with others will make a huge difference to how people treat you.
  • When we are faced with someone behaving poorly it is hard to come back to them with kindness, but we can regulate our own emotions and behaviour and, when appropriate, we can call it out.
  • Kindness is more effective than niceness. It is possible to be kind and still speak truth to power and hold boundaries.
  • Building empathy for others helps you treat them with kindness.
  • Leadership is not only a position someone is placed in, but a behaviour we can all practise.
  • When management and leadership refuse to do anything about a toxic person or environment, then it may be best to leave the team or organisation.
  • Organisations that are not prepared to eliminate toxic cultures can expect increasing rates of staff turnover.

About Janine:

Janine Hamner Holman, founder of J & J Consulting Group LLC, brings more than 30 years’ experience using scientifically validated strategies and tools to build high performance teams, enhance organisational development, and develop organisations and leaders with whom everyone wants to work. 

She has worked with everything from Fortune 200 companies to local non-profits that are motivated to create a great working environment while also honouring the bottom line. She spent 10 years studying brain science and developed a curriculum to help great organisations create thriving workplaces with engaged, emotionally intelligent, high-performing teams, led by dynamic, innovative and compassionate leaders. 

Janine is especially focused on assisting organisations to become an employer of choice to attract and retain superior talent in the coming (and in many industries already here!) era of increased labour competition.

You can connect with Janine on LinkedIn.